Publication Details

DiMuzio, T. 2011, 'The crisis of petro-market civilization: the past as prologue?', in S. Gill (eds), Global Crises and the Crisis of Global Leadership, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. pp. 73


Summary Current patterns of high-energy intensive development are not sustainable on account of two major challenges that threaten the social reproduction of this civilization: peak oil and global warming. This chapter seeks to probe the dimensions of this looming crisis at the heart of 'petro-market civilization' by foregrounding the links between energy and social reproduction. In doing so, the chapter makes two interrelated arguments. First, I argue not only that the age of fossil fuels is an exceptional one but also that the discovery and use of fossil fuels have been crucial to the deepening and extension of an incipient market civilization. Second, although there is recognition in both mainstream and more marginal circles that a broad-based global social transformation is needed in order to mitigate the probable consequences of global warming and peak oil, effective policy frameworks are not being put in place to deal with the looming crisis on the scale that would be necessary to transition to a post-fossil-fuel economy. The primary reason why this is so, I argue, is because solutions are informed by· a neoliberal governmentality that prioritizes economic growth, international market mechanisms and individual responsibility.



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